Monday, 20 February 2017

Hundreds of common dolphins killed by commercial fishing bycatch

Well over 300 mostly common dolphins have been recorded washed up dead on the Atlantic coast of England, France and Ireland in the first two months of 2017.
Credit: L’Observatoire PELAGIS

In each country the cause of death of many of these dolphins appears to be mid-water or pelagic trawling by fishing vessels operating off the coast. In France eighty-five percent of the dolphins examined were killed by fishing gear.
Credit: Sandy Alcorn

It is thought that only around eight percent of dolphins killed at sea by the nets of fishing vessels reach the shore. This suggests a possible massacre by the fishing industry across three EU countries of almost 3000 animals.
Credit: L’Observatoire PELAGIS

Even the most ardent defenders of the fishing industry must now concede that common dolphins are being slaughtered in totally unacceptable numbers.

It's now time for action. We are calling for all pelagic fishing vessels operating in EU waters to carry an independent onboard observer to monitor bycatch and ensure quota compliance. 

Dolphin death reports:
England - 
Ireland - 

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Kittiwake numbers plummet in the UK

Blue Planet Society are championing the black-legged kittiwake in Arkive's 2017 #LoveSpecies campaign.

The black-legged kittiwake is a dainty gull with black-tipped silver wings, yellow bill and dark eyes. This pretty gull’s shrill call “kittee wa-aake” gives them their name. Colonies of black-legged kittiwakes are most commonly found on sheer cliffs in the Northern Hemisphere, it is on these perilous cliffs that they build a deep nest from seaweed, mud and grass and deposit two speckled eggs from which downy, white chicks emerge. The kittiwake preys on sandeels and shoals of other small fish and does not scavenge like other gull species.

Kittiwake numbers in the UK have declined by around 50% (66% in Scotland) since the mid-1980s. This decline appears to have been driven by a slump in the availability of sandeels due to climate change and overfishing. Breeding failure increases with the proportion of sandeels fished.

We are campaigning for more protection for seabird foraging areas, especially during the breeding season. We would like to see increased restrictions on sandeel and other forage fish fisheries and more research into plankton, climate change and their association with sandeel availability.

Please vote for the black-legged kittiwake here: